When Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2003, he frequently campaigned at Salem Baptist Church while Rev. Meeks appeared in television ads supporting the Illinois senator’s campaign. Later, according to the same Chicago Sun Times article, on the night after he won the Democratic primary, Sen. Obama attended bible study at Meeks’ church ‘for prayer’ and ‘to say thank you.’The above suggests a pretty cozy relationship.
Since that time, not only has Meeks himself served on Obama’s exploratory committee for the presidency and been listed on the Obama's campaign website as one of the senator’s 'influential black supporters', but his church choir was called on to raise their voices in praise at a rally the night Obama announced his run for the White House back in 2007.
As Obama says on his website:
Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.But how does one reconcile Obama's pledge with this?:
[The SPLC] cites [Meeks] as both "a key member of Chicago's 'Gatekeepers' network, an interracial group of evangelical ministers who strive to erase the division between church and state" and "a stalwart anti-gay activist… [who]… has used his House of Hope mega-church to launch petition drives for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a major state-level 'family values' pressure group…'"Because that isn't treating LGBT citizens "with dignity and respect." And buddying up with assholes like Meeks belies any sincerity you will.
The SPLC newsletter also noted that, "Meeks and the IFI are partnered with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund … They also are tightly allied with Americans for Truth, an Illinois group that said in a press release last year that 'fighting AIDS without talking against homosexuality is like fighting lung cancer without talking against smoking.'"